Race Weekend Central

Kevin Harvick Continues Hot Streak, Wins Third Straight XFINITY Race at Atlanta

In a race that had sliding cars, interesting pit stops and close competition, Kevin Harvick completed the trifecta at Atlanta Motor Speedway by holding off a non-stop threat from Joey Logano from start to finish.

“That pit stop is what won this race,” Harvick told Fox Sports 1 in victory lane. “Joey (Logano) probably had a little bit better car. The second half of the run really paid off for us when we were able to have that short run and take off. Awesome pit stops all day long and we were able to make up some ground on that last pit stop and now we get to enjoy a cold Budweiser in victory lane.”

The final restart of the Hisense 250 came with 24 laps to go. A relatively short stint to the end proved to be a benefit to the No.88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet as Logano, although a strong threat, was unable to get to Harvick’s rear bumper.

“We were able to pass him there on the long run,” Logano told Fox Sports 1 after a runner-up result from pole. “I felt pretty good about our Discount Tire Ford. We came down pit road, got beat on pit road, had a decent restart for the outside lane. Then had a huge vibration, left rear was just loose. At that point I was just trying to survive and hope the left rear didn’t pass me. Overall we had a fast racecar, we showed a lot of speed today.”

The first caution waved on Lap 9 when Jeffery Earnhardt spun in Turn 4. This set up the longest green flag stretch of the afternoon, 75 laps,  before the yellow waved for a debris caution on Lap 87. During this time, Harvick and Logano traded the lead back a forth a few times while XFINITY regulars fought tooth and nail for the highest points-paying position.

The top-five included XFINITY Series regulars like Ty Dillon in third, Chris Buescher in fourth and Chase Elliott in fifth, all of whom are expected to make some noise through the rest of the season.

“I am pumped,” Dillon told Fox Sports 1. “I think this is a little bit of a taste of what were going to bring this year. It’s a really good start to our XFINITY year to be able to drive through the field.”

Paul Menard came home sixth ahead of Brian Scott, Matt Kenseth, Regan Smith, Kyle Larson, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Brendan Gaughan, respectively.

Harvick took time to thank the fans for showing up for Saturday’s double-header with XFINITY and Truck Series action.

“I want to do is thank all the fans today,” Harvick said.  “It’s been a really cold week and the day turned out really good and to see that crowd out there, I’m really happy for Atlanta Motor Speedway.”

The points lead exiting the second round of the 2015 season is a tie between Dillon and Buescher who are the only two drivers to finish top-five in both races so far.

Next week, the XFINITY Series will race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Boyd Gaming 300. Coverage starts at 4PM ET on Fox Sports 1.

About the author

Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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Yup, today could have been ugly if that tire fell off of Logano’s due to lack of lugnuts and the awful pit stop after him leading most of the race at that point. It is won in the pits often and today it wasn’t. Heard the penalty if that wheel comes off is huge. Hope we don’t find out. Congrats to the all the full time Xfinity drivers good show..however the truck race was by far better…:)

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